How's this for irony? It was one week ago when we took a look at the 1983 Prairie Grove playoff game and today its the 1983 Green Forest game that happened the following Friday in that 12 win Bearcat season. It comes in at number 22 on our countdown of the best 50 games to have been played in Bearcat Stadium.
The countdown will continue through Aug. 31, one day before Bearcat Stadium opens its gates for its 50th season.
Why was this game chosen? Only one Bearcat team at that time had won 12 games. While this one broke new ground on this November night doing so with no losses, it was not an easy groundbreaking, 14-12 in come-from-behind fashion.
What do I remember? It wasn't pretty, and like we said in the first paragraph, the pressure was only mounting, apparently mostly for a Green Forest kicker who had two opportunities to keep the win count at 11.
What does anyone on that roster remember? I really don't know. It wasn't for lack of effort but there were no responses for comments from any of those invited from the first unbeaten regular season team in 30 years. Not sure if it was a reluctance to talk as much as a memory thing, because most have more vivid memories of the season ending loss a week later. Of course that game is nowhere to be found on the countdown. All of that said, we'll do it the old fashioned way.
What happened? Booneville did what Booneville does to start the game. A 16-play drive that took six minutes gave the Bearcats a 6-0 lead. Billy Warren got the touchdown from the 4 but Danny Morris misfired on the PAT.
The Bearcats got the ball back but in short order but were in punt formation and Alan King had it blocked by Kent Bonham. A Jimmy Heads 1-yard touchdown would tie the game a 6-6.
A fourth-and-6 halfback pass from Tom Rhodes to Keith Killbourne with 3:18 left in the half game Green Forest the lead.
On the first offensive play of the second half Troy Smith recovered a fumbled pitch by quarterback Wayne Moore and the Bearcats were at the Tiger 24-yard line. Thank you.
Warren, there's that guy again, caught an 11-yard pass from King then scored from the 7 to tie it at 12. Andy Napier added an extra two for a 14-12 lead and there was 9:10 to play to play in the third quarter.
Green Forest put together a 14-play drive then settled for a David Evans field goal try of 37 yards but he was short and wide of the mark with 1:51 to play in the third quarter.
Green Forest had the ball back at the Bearcat 37 after a short punt and they would reach the 2 before an illegal procedure penalty flag and, eventually a 21-yard field goal try, that Evans also missed.
There was a third-and-11 play on the ensuing drive and Jesse Martine, yes that one, went for 24 huge yards to flip the field a little and help the Bearcats eat more clock.
Still Green Forest got one more chance, only to see a Lyndell Oxford interception finally nail down the win.
Tomorrow for number 21 we’ll dodge another field goal bullet.